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Kenya Embracing Blockchain Technology To Keep Roads Safe

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Around 85% of road accidents in Kenya can be attributed to driver behaviour, with issues such as driving under the influence, speeding, and reckless or distracted driving leading to up to 13,000 deaths on the road every year. Reducing these risk factors for accidents involves education and awareness of the public, yet statistics show that thus far, these considerations are insufficient. In steps blockchain technology to make a real difference. @iLabAfrica-Strathmore University and Safewayz Company are currently collaborating to develop a blockchain app that will capture, process and manage violations of road safety rules.

How Can Blockchain Help?
Blockchain can help by allowing authorities to address irresponsible driver behaviour through a cloud-based database that all road users can utilise. Those who spot examples of unsafe driving can upload reports on traffic violations to incidence centres, and data obtained will be stored permanently. This data can be used by both the National Transport and Safety Authority and by other interested parties. From a legal standpoint, the information obtained and shared by other drivers may be relevant, for instance, to lawsuits for personal injury. As stated by traffic law specialists FVF, proving reckless or distracted driving can be difficult in the absence of evidence provided by other witnesses. The information to be shared via blockchain could, therefore, potentially be used by law enforcement to establish the presence of absence of responsibility.

Efficient Storage And Sharing Of information
Blockchain will enable authorities to access all relevant information on a driver via their licence. Fernardo Wangila, deputy director of the NTSA, told the press that “a driver’s licence will be the entry point to the person’s data. You can see his age, blood group, if his licence is valid, his tax status, insurance status and any information that can be linked.” There are many features of blockchain that make this technology ideal for the provision, sharing and storage of this personal information. These include its peer-to-peer structure, transparency, anonymity, privacy and protection. All these factors make blockchain an excellent way to address potential problems with data ownership and privacy.

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Blockchain And Mobility
Blockchain can facilitate greater value for mobility providers and consumers, reports Matthew Jones, in a number of ways. These include verifying vehicle identities and histories, automating machine payments, and facilitating car and ride sharing. By gathering information on vehicles, the technology can give authorities and (potentially) private individuals key information on a vehicle’s specs, ownership, maintenance history and the like, and make it more difficult for fraudsters to manipulate odometers. They can therefore contribute to road safety by ensuring that vehicles are in good condition and that their parts are not counterfeit.

Blockchain is only starting to make its presence felt in Kenya, but it already promises greater safety. This system allows data to be stored in a decentralised, safe and private manner. It also provides authorities with key information about each driver. Finally, blockchain can be used to store vital information about the history and ownership of each vehicle to reduce the risks of fraudulent sales of both vehicles and individual components.

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James Musoba
James Musoba
Studying Africa's startup and technology scene. I always look forward to discovering new exciting inventions and vibrant entrepreneurs.

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